For week of January 25, 2009
Issue 238

“Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:13

“I believe the will of God prevails; without him all human reliance is vain; without the assistance of that Divine Being I cannot succeed; with that assistance I cannot fail.” Abraham Lincoln

“Let us pray…

“Almighty God, Our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of You alone. It all comes from You; it all belongs to You; it all exists for Your glory. History is Your story. The Scripture tells us, ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God.’ The Lord is One, and You are the compassionate and merciful One and You are loving to everyone You have made.

“Now, today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American President of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequalled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And, we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven!

“Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility; the courage to lead us with integrity; the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice-President Biden, the cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.

“Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans united not by race, or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget You, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ. Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.

“May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And, may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before You.

“We now commit our new President and his wife Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into Your loving care. I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life – Yeshua (Hebrew), Isa (Arabic), Jesus (Spanish), Jesus (English) – who taught us to pray, “‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.’”

Joseph Lowery gave the benediction at the inaugural ceremony. The end of his prayer drew laughter across the mall: “We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.” Read the complete prayer at

In 1949, the year of Harry S. Truman’s inauguration ceremony, America was a much less tolerant and diverse place. It would be another decade before Americans would be comfortable electing a Catholic president. Jews were still excluded from the upper echelons of government and business. The levers of power were held by Protestants, who made up the vast majority of the population. But there on the podium with Harry Truman, to deliver prayers, were a Protestant minister, a Catholic priest and a rabbi.

Flash forward to 2001. America is a much more diverse nation. Protestants make up barely half the population. We’ve had a Catholic president and numerous Catholic Supreme Court justices. Jewish politicians and businessmen have risen to the highest levels of government and finance, and increasingly Islam is being treated as a mainstream American religion. Yet at that inauguration, of George W. Bush, there were two clergymen, both Protestants, and they both preached with enthusiastically Christian language. Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell prayed in “the name that’s above all other names, Jesus the Christ.” And Rev. Franklin Graham asked the American people to “acknowledge You alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer. We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.”

In fact, if one looks at the roster of clergy and the prayers they gave over the past 70 years, it appears that America has actually become less inclusive and pluralistic over time…. Read this in full at

In addition to knowing President-elect Barack Obama for a decade, the Rev. Jim Wallis would seem like the type of nationally known, centrist, evangelical pastor chosen to give the inaugural invocation. Instead, Obama is still hearing criticism for inviting the Rev. Rick Warren, a conservative Orange County pastor who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights, to take that marquee inaugural position.

But choosing Warren makes long-term political sense, say Wallis and others. Even though Warren’s support of California’s Proposition 8 and comments made in a interview last month equating gay marriage to pedophilia drew widespread criticism from some of Obama’s core supporters, analysts say Warren is symbolic of a new political reality…. Read this in full at

So What Happened at the Prayer Service?
The prayer service at the National Cathedral the morning of January 21 was very sober and interfaith as expected as President Obama prepared to launch into his presidency. Andy Stanley, founding pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia, was the only religious leader to invoke Jesus’ name, as the rest of the service was very interfaith oriented. Here is Stanley’s prayer:…. Read this in full at

by Mark Labberton
There is no better time to renew our commitment to pray for our leaders than the start of a new presidential administration. Barack Obama needs our prayers and we should give them freely and eagerly no matter how we may have voted. I know our president needs prayer, because I know I do. My own life and pastoral leadership depends on prayer. I am aware that much of the blessing in the life of our church unfolds because of the prayers of people united in seeking God’s way. Blessings are not earned by prayer, nor should blessings be presumed because of prayer. But I do believe prayer increases our readiness to live humbly, wisely, and courageously…. Read this in full at

Seeking to revive a dispirited nation, President Obama on Jan. 20 told Americans to get religion — civil religion. “We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things,” Obama said, quoting St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, in one of the few explicitly Christian references in his address. Although at times Obama adopted the cadences of the black church that he called home for 20 years, he borrowed little of its content…. Read this in full at

In 2008, another historic wave swept the country, and this time Doug Paul was no longer a child. He voted — against his parents, against his pastors, against his history — for Barack Obama. More wrenching, he left the church in which he was born, baptized and married to start his own congregation. His mother, especially, remains bewildered by his choices. ‘My big question,’ she says, sitting on a landing in her suburban house, ‘is why do you think this way?’ Read this in full at

Before he left office, President Bush issued the following proclamation as one of his last official acts:
All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us…. Read this in full at


by Patrick Morley, PhD
Here’s an interesting way to describe football. Football is a game in which both teams use all their skill to deceive the other team to get what they want. Deception and getting your own way…that sounds a lot like a marriage! Seriously, are you and your wife both on the same team, or are you like two teams competing against each other? The Bible describes marriage as the greatest of all human relationships, and there isn’t a close second. So which statement best describes your marriage: 1) We’re both on the same team, or 2) We’re on two teams competing against each other?

If you’re not on the same team with your wife, commit to make that happen. Seek wisdom from men who are getting it right. What would happen if every man in your church viewed himself on the same team with his wife? Here’s a practical tool to help make that happen. Pray The Marriage Prayer each day for the next 14 days — 68 words that capture the essence of what the Bible teaches about marriage:

“I said, ‘Til death do us part’ -– I want to mean it. Help me love You more than her, and her more than anyone or anything else. Help me bring her into Your presence today. Make us one, like You are three-in-one. I want to hear her, cherish her, and serve her -– so she would love You more and we can bring You glory. Amen.”

Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Feb. 1, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII will be played Feb. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. To commemorate this occasion, the US Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts examining the demographics of the host area, as well as the cities represented by the contenders, in this year’s edition of America’s most celebrated sporting event. Read it in full at

Kurt Warner’s autobiography is titled, “All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the Miracle Season.” Warner is at the center of yet another miracle season, leading his underdog Arizona Cardinals to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.

Warner’s Arizona Cardinals turned in their third upset in as many weeks Jan. 18, shocking the Philadelphia Eagles, 32-25, on a late-game drive engineered by the outspoken Christian NFL veteran.

The Cardinals now will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday, Feb. 1, at Raymond James Field in Tampa. The Steelers qualified for the NFL title game with a 23-14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Warner wrote the autobiography after leading the St. Louis Rams to their first Super Bowl title in 2000. Now, nearly a decade later, the 37-year-old signal caller is taking another first-time team to pro football’s biggest game, but he still hasn’t forgotten his power source.

“I never get tired of saying it,” he told a stadium full of Cardinals fans and a national TV audience after the Jan. 18 NFC playoff victory. “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing me to be here and do the things I do.” Read this in full at

Overlooked by the NFL draft, cut in training camp by the Green Bay Packers, and thwarted by a venomous spider bite when trying out for the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner’s path to victory hasn’t been an easy one. Yet despite setbacks, Warner persevered — whether stocking supermarket shelves or leading teams to the Super Bowl. All along the way, he’s shared his faith in Christ.

“Standing up for my beliefs, no matter what, is one more way I define being a person of integrity,” Warner says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of millions of people at the Super Bowl or one person in private; I try to stand true to who I am in the Lord.” Read this in full at

by Bret Kincaid
Inspired by President Obama’s call to perform an act of community service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I thought I’d offer an opportunity to you, Reader, to commit yourself to a New Year’s resolution of public service. Perhaps many of you have already committed yourself to engage in public service this year. Still, I offer the following 11 suggestions to help us all live into the second greatest commandment (love your neighbor as yourself) in a year that will surely be full of political and economic challenges. Commit yourself to doing any of these once or as often as you believe you are able to do them.

1. As an act of love and in a spirit of honest and earnest truth-seeking, study the Scriptures and read biblically-based material on public life to help you form or strengthen your faith-based perspective on public life. This exercise will help you perform the following faithfully…. Read this in full at

Miracle on the Hudson: The remarkable story of Flight 1549 carries lessons for church leaders
by Gordon MacDonald
This morning I took a few minutes to watch video of the remarkable rescue effort in the Hudson River yesterday. For a long, long time, this will remain in the minds of people as a highpoint in the American experience. It appears to have brought out the best in just about everybody. And it provides a dramatic contrast to those who, in recent months, have ripped off people for billions of dollars and cared only for themselves.

These themes come to mind from the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson River.”

The way of an airline pilot (age 57) who has spent his professional life becoming an expert in safety. He is a glider pilot, a military pilot, and an airline pilot. It looks like there could hardly have been a better person at the controls. In the impenetrable mysteries of a providential God, does He nudge a man prepared like this into the pilot’s seat for that flight? Just wondering.

Story-tellers will celebrate his quick decision-making. He had less than a minute or two to decide whether to try to land at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey or land on the river. No small decision. Made in seconds…. Read this in full at

“Be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” George Eliot

A detailed summary of Fight: Are you willing to pick a FIGHT with EVIL? (WaterBrook Press) by Kenny Luck is now online. The book’s message: We are in a spiritual war, whether we recognize it or believe it or not. Evil is very real, in the form of outside forces surrounding us as well as forces of darkness that lie within our own hearts. We must not run from our battle, whether internal or external. God has given us every weapon and tool necessary to face the enemy head-on. It’s up to us to gain the necessary knowledge regarding who the enemy really is and then to engage in the battle. The victory is already ours.

The Hill Museum & Monastic Library rescues manuscripts from across the centuries and across the world. And there are worlds in this place on palm leaf and papyrus, in microfilm and pixels — stories of ordinary life as well as the rise and fall of civilizations. The radio program Speaking of Faith explores this with a Benedictine monk and an Ethiopian scholar who have led some of its most intriguing work. In their lives as in this work, the relevance of ancient manuscripts to people of the present, and the cultural cargo of the past itself, are revealed in a new light. Listen and read this story at

The atheist slogan, “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” may soon be coming to subways and buses in Canada’s largest city. The Toronto-based Freethought Association of Canada, inspired by a campaign that has plastered British buses with the phrase, has contacted the private firm that handles ads on the Toronto Transit Commission to see if the message would violate any rules. Organizers plan to launch a fundraising page on the website The British campaign, which has inspired similar moves in Washington, Barcelona, and Madrid, has sparked complaints to the country’s advertising authority and a backlash from the evangelical group Christian Voice, which has proclaimed that Britain is in “deep sin.” Read this in full at

A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming “There’s probably no God”. Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with “shock” and “horror” at the message and walked out of his shift in protest. First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses. Buses across Britain started displaying atheist messages in an advertising campaign launched in January…. Read this in full at

“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6

With the world facing its worst recession in decades, the BBC News’ Heart and Soul radio program asks whether it’s time to re-examine the question of money and morality. Religious traditions all seem to agree that there is conflict between the pursuit of worldly wealth and spiritual riches. In the first of two programs Richard Coles talks to the city traders and hedge fund managers to find out whether there is something irreducibly immoral about making money. The second program asks what role religion has to play in the money markets….

People who consume coffee and other caffeinated products are more likely to have hallucinations, according to a study published today. The more caffeine students had, the more likely they were to hear voices, smell things and see things that were not there, researchers at Durham University found…. Read this in full at

New research from Carnegie Mellon University finds that those who get less than seven hours sleep a night are three times as likely to catch a cold. Furthermore, those who sleep poorly were at a five times higher risk of catching a cold.

The researchers paid healthy adults $800 to have cold viruses sprayed up their noses. Participants then spent five days in a hotel to see if the virus sickened them. The study’s showed that those who habitually slept eight hours or more were significantly less likely to become sick than those who slept less than seven hours or slept restlessly. “The longer you sleep, the better off you are, the less susceptible you are to colds,” said Sheldon Cohen, the study’s lead author…. Read this in full at

“To love your child for his perfection is nothing. To love him for his failures is to love him well. It is that love which will form the later man- the man whom failure cannot defeat.” Louis Binstock

“Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.” Amos 5:14-15

Words: Isaac Watts, 1719
Music: John Hatton, 1793

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Behold the islands with their kings,
And Europe her best tribute brings;
From north to south the princes meet,
To pay their homage at His feet.

There Persia, glorious to behold,
There India shines in eastern gold;
And barb’rous nations at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.

Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.

Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.

Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

Great God, whose universal sway
The known and unknown worlds obey,
Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,
Extend His power, exalt His throne.

The scepter well becomes His hands;
All Heav’n submits to His commands;
His justice shall avenge the poor,
And pride and rage prevail no more.

With power He vindicates the just,
And treads th’oppressor in the dust:
His worship and His fear shall last
Till hours, and years, and time be past.

As rain on meadows newly mown,
So shall He send his influence down:
His grace on fainting souls distills,
Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.

The heathen lands, that lie beneath
The shades of overspreading death,
Revive at His first dawning light;
And deserts blossom at the sight.

The saints shall flourish in His days,
Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
Peace, like a river, from His throne
Shall flow to nations yet unknown.

>from CyberHymnal at

“Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.” Phillips Brooks


Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deut. 28:2).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like the church guys to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness. I’ll add your name to the list for the time you’ll be away.]

Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.

Book your next vacation with us!

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Pipecleaner Dance

Mike’s Radio World

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)

An atheist is a person who has no invisible means of support.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor

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